As a conservative business owner and a civic activist, I believe in the “creative economy” and will support it for the good of us all.
Understand, however, we need more than just a “creative” economy. We need healthy urban economies, healthy rural economies, and healthy regional economies grounded in cooperative relationships. Every person in the Chippewa Valley deserves economic opportunity and economic security in order for long-term progress to take root in our valley. Communities, businesses and citizens must all work together to support bold, effective efforts in public policy at all levels of government.
This means: local sovereignty (residents know best); strong public schools (of, by and for their communities; focusing on civics, the arts, humanities, sciences, food and the environment); living wages for all workers; universal health care (BadgerCare for all Badgers, AmeriCare for all Americans); universal affordable housing (the cost of housing should never exceed 30 percent of a family’s income); investments in local food; clean water; healthy soil; and renewable energy.
When people’s basic needs are met, when communities take responsibility for one another, when we begin our sentences with the civic “we,” when we focus on what we are for instead of what we are against — that’s when we begin to create an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.
‘No’ to new drinking age
According to state Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, lowering the drinking age to 19 would save thousands of dollars on law enforcement and those savings “could be used for other important issues such as drug abuse and sexual assaults.”
Let me be clear: Alcohol is a drug by any and all definitions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2006-2010 excessive drinking led to approximately 88,000 deaths per year.
So making a drug (alcohol) easier to access for young adults makes no sense when you are talking about combating drug abuse.
Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between alcohol misuse/abuse and sexual assaults.
Lowering the drinking age to 19 makes no sense.
Plan benefits the wealthy
The tax plan devised by the GOP is poorly thought out and will only function to expand the already out-of-control national debt for no good reason and will hurt the poor and middle class.
The only ones to benefit from this tax overhaul in the long run will be the people who need it the least — rich people and the rich businesses of this country, pure and simple. The tax cuts for the rich and wealthy corporations are written in stone with no expiration date, but the slightly lower tax cuts now for the poor and middle class do have expiration dates.
Meanwhile, over the years the federal deficit will balloon and that will force interest rates to rise. Rising interest rates help the rich to make even more money, while hurting the middle class and poor who cannot afford to pay their bills, much less buy a new car, get a mortgage, etc. This in turn hurts the economy and the federal budget deficit just gets larger and larger, which will bring us back to higher taxes for the rich.
Let’s all save a bunch of time and quit lying to each other. Dump this tax overhaul and start over.
This tax proposal attempts to eliminate many deductions for the poor and middle class. But all deductions must be kept in place and perhaps expanded for the poor and middle class up to incomes of $100,000. Corporations that can afford to pay their CEOs and management six-figure incomes can also pay 50 percent in taxes.
One last point, no more wasting money and people’s lives on unwinnable wars.
Education already costly
Affording college isn’t easy, and like most of my fellow Blugolds, I had to take loans out to pay for my education. So it bothers me greatly when I hear about Congress’s new tax bill due to the cuts it makes to programs like the Student Loan Interest Deduction, which will allow me to deduct the interest I’m being charged on my student loan debt each year from my taxable income.
Right now, I’m trying to focus on school and make the most of the education I’m paying for. And between the classes I’m currently taking, trying to find a job for after I graduate, working part time, and thinking about how I’m going to repay all of my student loan debt, I’m stressed enough.
By cutting the Student Loan Interest Deduction, they’re only going to hurt college students, our community’s future. College is already expensive, so it’s unthinkable that Republicans out in Washington want to take away a program that is so crucial in helping families and students who are struggling to just get an education and be successful in life.
I know Ron Kind, the congressman for our area, opposes this tax increase on students and is working to stop the repeal of the student loan interest deduction. I’m glad that somebody is looking out for us, and I hope other members of Congress get the message and get on board if they care at all about students and about getting our votes in the next election.